Archive for the ‘current events’ Category

NH vs Maine – Chess Border Battle

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Yesterday (Sat, Sept 10) I competed in my second NH vs Maine Team Chess Challenge, also known as the “Border Battle,” now an annual event, at the Portsmouth library. The time control was G/60 with five-second increment.

My opponent was the slightly higher-rated, Joshua Quint, now back in his home state of Maine from Vegas where he was 2010 Vice-Champ of the Clark County Chess Club. We each took a full point.

In the first game, a couple inaccuracies with White in the opening landed me in an unpleasant defensive crouch from which I was only too happy to burst forth with reckless abandon. It almost paid off too. Unfortunately, when the time was right, I failed to play the winning shot I’d planned some moves earlier. :(

Why I got distracted, I’m still not sure, probably the clock had something to do with it as time trouble was fast approaching. Nevertheless, this game is now extremely painful to play over and to think what could have been (i.e., a stunning reversal).

As last year, the weather cooperated, so many of us walked together into town for lunch at Me & Ollie’s. I had the Vegan Veritable Veggie, a hummus and olive sandwich.

Game 2 with colors reversed saw an even longer tactical skirmish and a pretty queen pseudo-sac.

Team Scores: New Hampshire (14) – Maine (6)

As always, a good time, with good camaraderie! I hope to play in many more of these as the friendly rivalry between our neighboring states continues.

NH vs Maine – Team Chess Match

Monday, October 4th, 2010

A couple weekends ago, I had the opportunity to play my first rated chess games in almost two years! I had no idea whether the rust would show, but seeing as I was competing as a representative of the state of NH, in what I believe was only my second team event since high school, I put a little study in prior and sought to concentrate fully.

My first game was a blast, and it made me very happy to discover my tactical vision had survived the unplanned hiatus.

After the dust cleared, we all took a lengthy lunch break with ample time to wander around Portsmouth, NH enjoying the nice weather and plentiful food options. I left the guys at the nearest sandwich shop and kept walking to one of my old regular dining spots when I used to work in town — a vegan smoothie and wrap place that’s changed hands many times, the menu remaining essentially the same throughout.

Game 2 with colors reversed had fewer fireworks as White blundered a pawn early. After rebuffing his attack, I was able to grind out the win with the extra material. The ironic thing is, during my pre-match preparations, I could only find a few games of my opponent, all with him as White. So, it was this game for which I was more prepared; I knew he would play the 6.Bg5 of the Samisch and was looking forward to the skirmish.

The local paper, the Portsmouth Herald, picked up the story, with a few pictures taken by the beautiful Ioanna Raptis. You can see me in the red shirt, way back on the right.

For more pictures, check out this write-up from There you’ll see a couple closer glimpses of me in mid-ponder and a really good one of Andrey deep in thought. Oh, and one of the library where we battled. :)

Magnus Carlsen vs The World

Monday, September 20th, 2010

It’s nice to see chess making a splash in popular culture through its confluence with fashion and celebrity. That’s exactly what G-RAW and Liv Tyler brought to the table as Magnus Carlsen faced “The World” in the recent RAW Chess Challenge.

As for the chess, you be the judge. Clearly, Kasparov’s feat in his victory against The World is more notable in its length and depth of analysis. This one was finished in a single sitting and almost as though he were playing one of the GMs but with them handicapped by not being able to see their own plans thru to fruition.

ChessBase has a play-by-play analysis and commentary HERE.

World Team Chess Championship

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Every four years, the world’s chess elite come together to represent their countries in high-level team competition. This time the venue is Bursa, Turkey, with play running from January 3rd to the 14th, 2010. Unfortunately, China declined to send a team, but the rest of the powerhouses are there in force.

Just past the mid-way mark, with five rounds of nine in the books, the USA team is playing inspired, fighting chess. They now sit in 2nd place a half point behind Russia who beat them in the third.

My favorite game so far? It’s a tough choice, but this one, having been played today, is fresh in my mind. It contains some beautiful tactics (talk about hammering home a single square weakness [g2]!) and adds another stunning notch to the King’s Indian Defense’s belt. :)

Hoogoveen Open 2009

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Our man, (once) hometown hero, Josh Friedel is currently playing the Open Section at Hoogoveen in The Netherlands. The last few rounds have been rough, but he recovered nicely today with this miniature:

And a few rounds before that, he had this even shorter and far more spectacular game. As you play it out, really slow down at move 16 and on to appreciate the ideas and lines behind the moves. And, did you honestly see that last move coming?! Wow. Good stuff.

Serious chess. Serious fun!